by Lisa Tome
While other people were complaining about last week's heatwave, Darrel Baeder was just thankful it wasn't snowing.
"I can't stand winter anymore. I don't like working in the heat, but we don't change our jobs because it's hot. If something needs to be done, we do it," said Baeder.
Baeder, the most senior of the Town of Rising Sun's public works crewmen, will mark three decades of service to the town in September.
Baeder said the entire crew is dedicated. While Baeder has 30 years service, his co-workers - supervisor Ron Thomas, Chris George, and Grant Coates, have a combined 50 plus years working for the town. During last week's heatwave, while Coates was having a few day's vacation, Baeder, Thomas, and George, still got a lot accomplished.
"We power washed the park pavilion. We do that at least twice a year," said Baeder. "Whoever is off (for vacation) we just do their work too. I get along with everyone and I don't mind it."
They also learned to operate some new town equipment, including an excavator which the crew will use for street and sidewalk work. They tore down old buildings where the water tower once stood along East Cherry Street. The crew repaired a water leak on Haines Avenue. "The sun was beating down on us all day. We carry water with us all day. We keep coolers in our trucks and water in the refrigerator (at the maintenance shop)," he said. And Chris was painting a lot of curbs.
"Next week, no matter how hot it is, we'll be doing sidewalks and blacktop. If a job needs to be done, we do it. I'd rather work in the heat than snow," laughed Baeder.